Three is the charm

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The class of 2010 isn't the best crop of football players ever produced in the Chicago area. But it set an historical precedent that ought to be noted. It was the first class to land three representatives on the list of the top 25 players in the nation.

USC-bound wide receiver Kyle Prater of Proviso West, Notre Dame-bound offensive lineman Christian Lombard of Fremd and Iowa-bound tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz of Johnsburg were included on my list of the top 25 players in the nation, based on the leading performers by position.

At the same time, Prater, Lombard and Fiedorowicz were selected on EA Sports' first team on offense, which recognized the top 11 offensive players in the nation.

When was the last time that the Chicago area placed three players on the Super 25?

It never happened. But it might have come close in 1990 with Bloom's Bryant Young, Providence's Pete Bercich and Romeoville's Oliver Gibson.

It seems that Chicago area players often are underrated by the other major recruiting services. I don't understand why. Look at the statistics. There are 48 Chicago area products currently playing the in NFL and many of them were underrated by everybody.

The list includes Thornton Fractional South's Pierre Thomas of the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, North Chicago's Michael Turner, Holy Cross' Garrett Wolfe, Glenbard North's Ryan Diehm and Brother Rice's Dave Diehl.

Even the best recruiting class ever produced in the Chicago area, the class of 1986, didn't receive as much national recognition as it deserved.

It included St. Rita's John Foley, USA Today's defensive player of the year, St. Laurence's Paul Glonek and Tim Grunhard, Whitney Young's Russell Maryland, Sandburg's Jeff Alm and Forest View's Jeff Quast.

The class of 1974 wasn't too shabby, either. It included Evanston's Mike Kenn and Joe Stewart, New Trier's Clay Matthews and West Chicago's Scott Dierking.

There are other classes that stood out. But Prater, Lombard and Fiedorowicz achieved a precedent that will give future classes a goal to accomplish. They ranked among the top 30 players in the nation, also an unprecedented feat for Chicago area seniors.

Their challenge is to prove they deserve that lofty rating in the next two or three years at the college level.

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Tom - how do you see the Class of 2011 class in Illinois shaping up? Who do you expect to be the top players in that class?

i believe a lot of players were overlooked

1974 also had Mark Donahue from Brother Rice, who was a two–time consensus All-American at Michigan and played with Cincinnati in the NFL.

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This page contains a single entry by Second Season published on February 8, 2010 9:41 AM.

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